Personality of Probably42


Smiley Light BulbProbably42 sets out with the objective of being an ‘Ideas factory’  for the benefit of society and at the same time benefitting ourselves as individuals mentally and socially.


It’s unusual to ascribe a personality to the site but we think it’s a helpful idea to convey the nature of Probably42 and the way it wants to operate.


Balanced, Impartial, Considered, Rigorous, Factual, Pragmatic, Intelligent, Fair, Friendly, Respectful, Supportive, Positive, Encouraging


are just a few of the adjectives that we would like to see applied to the site, the ideas we put forward together and to the way we go about this.


Well thought out ideas


A key attribute of the site is that we provide guidelines for inputting ideas that bring out both the pros and the cons and a proper analysis, so that all ideas are well thought through and, where possible, supported by information and evidence.


The quality of the Brexit referendum debate made all of us currently involved in this project despair at the low level of factual information and how it was clouded in assertion, spinning and distorting of what was being presented to support positions, with much of the media trying to create antagonism and conflict rather than rational discussion.


On the basis that there are very few clear cut ideas, our aim is to create a structure for putting forward ideas, that tries to ensure any proposition brings out not just the positives but the contra arguments. Then, in full knowledge of the pros and cons, presents the rationale for the course of action being proposed and any assumptions on which it is based. In addition, utilising a structure which separates the logical view from the emotional view from the pragmatic view, but recognising that these are all important in forming an ultimate decision. In this way, we hope that we can also encourage the neutrality and independence of the ideas on the site i.e. they will be based on well thought out, and well argued, ideas that stand up in their own right, not on vested interests, partisan positions or even bigotry.


We recognise that initial versions of ideas may not have all the rigour mentioned above, but what we don’t want is off the cuff ideas and unchecked assertions. The intention is that anything put forward here has a certain scientific rigour to it, hopefully making it ultimately more valuable, and the guideline ideas structure is intended to encourage this. Like everything else with the site the intention is that this structure will evolve over time based on our joint KSE (Knowledge Skills and Experience).

Developing and commenting on ideas

A guiding principle of the site is respect for one another’s ideas and opinions, even when they are completely opposite to our own. So friendly educated questioning and putting the alternative case is the order of the day; not descending into verbal conflict.

The objective is to encourage ideas and their development through constructive commenting and through supporting, or questioning, one another’s ideas with facts we know about or have access to, observing the same guidelines as for publishing the original idea.  Involvement in Probably42 is just as valuable through helping others hone their ideas as it is providing brand new ideas. This is true even at the simplest level of liking or rating ideas, so that the best ideas are more easily recognised.

Probably42 is not a campaigning site for any specific ideas. It is a place we hope will be recognised as a source of excellent ideas, drawing on the KSE of us all.  We will, however, provide guidance to and take action ourselves to promote awareness of new ideas to those who may have an interest and ultimately be in a position to influence their implementation.